Shane Sutherland is eager to bolster his case to spearhead Caley Thistle’s attack by getting off the mark in his second spell at the club.
Sutherland rejoined Inverness for a second spell in the summer, having signed a pre-contract in January whilst with previous club Elgin City.
The 30-year-old has faced a disrupted start to the campaign after picking up a hamstring injury in a Betfred Cup tie against Hearts at Tynecastle last month, but made his return in a league match at the same venue on Saturday.
Sutherland is aware of the competition he faces for a forward berth, which makes him all the more determined to make an instant impact with the club which released him in 2013.
Sutherland said: “I think the attacking options are brilliant. I have not scored yet, in years gone by that would maybe annoy me but as I’ve got a little bit older and a bit wiser I don’t worry too much about it. A few more games in I might start panicking.
“Nikolay Todorov has been brilliant, scoring in three of the four league games, and Aaron Doran came back from a long lay-off and got himself a goal on Saturday.
“We have got James Keatings who can score goals, while I have scored goals over the years – albeit at a lower level. I’m confident enough that if I get the chance at this level I can do it.
“Miles Storey is coming back from injury, and young Daniel MacKay and Roddy MacGregor who can start adding goals to their game. Kai Kennedy is also away with Scotland.
“That list of attackers says that if we can keep the back door shut, which I’m very confident the defence can do, in any given game we can score goals no matter which attackers are on the pitch.
“It’s a good array of attacking options with different attributes and strengths.”
Sutherland was pleased make his return following a month-long absence, despite the Highlanders falling to a 2-1 defeat to the Jambos.
He added: “It seems a long time since I joined a pre-contract in January. We finally got going at the start of September there and I was enjoying being back full-time.
“I felt I’d done well in pre-season and was the fittest I’ve ever felt before suffering the injury over the last four weeks.
“It was just good to be back on the pitch last Saturday, if only for the last 25 minutes. It was good game-time.”
Inverness make the trip to Kirkcaldy to face newly-promoted Championship rivals Raith Rovers in a Betfred Cup tie.
The Fife outfit have made a flying start to the campaign, and top the table with 10 points from their opening four league games.
Although Caley Jags’ prospects of qualifying through the group stage of the cup are slim, Wick-born Sutherland is intent on producing a winning sequence.
He added: “If we can get three points against Raith, we’ll look at other results and see if a win against East Fife will do us. It is about trying to get the win – it doesn’t matter if, at a later stage, we don’t qualify.
“It is just about trying to breed confidence and win games. It’s something we need to do now – get a run of wins together, hopefully in the cup, and take it back with us into the league.
👊 It’s mid-week action for the Caley Jags tomorrow as we face @RaithRovers in the Betfred Cup Group Stage away from home.
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— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) November 9, 2020
“I think Raith are top of the table because they have momentum. You see Cove in League One and they’ve hit the ground running again because it has been three or four seasons where they’re used to winning every week.
“The confidence and habit of winning keeps you flying high. You go into every game thinking you will win the match, score if you’re a striker and keep a clean sheet if you’re a defender.
“If you’re not winning games, it becomes a little more difficult to carry that mentality into every game.”